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November 28, 2023

Innocents Behind Bars: Systemic Racism and Wrongful Convictions

Event Date: November 28, 2023
Event Location: Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Centre for Human Rights Research (University of Manitoba), and the Faculty of Law (University of Manitoba) co-organized and sponsored a public event on November 28, 2023 “Innocents Behind Bars: Systemic Racism and Wrongful Convictions.” There were over 125 people in attendance, as well as 25 people joining online.

The panel brought together leaders of the police torture justice/reparations movement in Chicago, into conversation with those working on demanding justice for Indigenous and racialized peoples wrongly imprisoned here in Canada.This event is inspired by the July 2023 release of Allan Woodhouse and Brian Anderson who were wrongfully imprisoned for a murder they did not commit and spent almost fifty years fighting to clear their names. Brian Anderson and members of his family were in attendance and Allan Woodhouse was able to join virtually.

We were honoured to welcome:

  • Amanda Carling, CEO, BC First Nations Justice Council
  • James Lockyer, Founding Director, Innocence Canada
  • Alice Kim, Director of Human Rights Practice, Centre for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
  • Gregory Banks, Torture Survivor and Learning Fellow, Chicago Torture Justice Center (joining virtually)
  • Facilitated by Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Indigenous Studies, University of Manitoba
  • Opening remarks from Elder Robert Greene, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

We hope this event will encourage a rethinking about the intersections of racism, policing, wrongful convictions, and the prison system throughout Turtle Island, and urge us to consider alternatives to how we understand safety and justice for all.


Watch the video: https://youtu.be/ZWMDvs3kTN0

Download the Graphic Recording: https://chrr.info/resource/innocents-behind-bars-systemic-racism-and-wrongful-convictions/

The art featured in this event poster is titled “Hummingbird” (2015), and is an unfinished painting by Peter Collins, that he was working on in the final days of his life. Peter Collins was a Canadian artist and activist who was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 22. During his time various prisons around Kingston, Ontario, Peter was an ardent activist for those living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in prisons. He was a tireless advocate for reform calling attention to systemic racism and injustice, both inside and outside the prison environment, through his artwork and writings. Denied compassionate leave to spend the end of his life with friends and family, Peter died in prison at the age of 53. For more about Peter and his art, please see Lockdown Galleries: Art and Voice of Peter Collins. © Robert Collins

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